Astigmatism is one of those strange terms that most people don’t understand, so it sounds intimidating when you are told that you have it. It doesn’t help that prescription contact lenses cost significantly more if astigmatism is present. Let’s clear up some of this confusion. Astigmatism describes optical blur that arises when the curvature of an optical surface is “out of round”. This irregular curvature can occur on the cornea or on the lens.


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Astigmatism Symptoms

Optical blurring, ghosting, slight doubling or drop-shadow effects result from having astigmatism. Most people only know they have astigmatism because their eye doctor has measured them for glasses or contacts and has told them they have this condition.

Normal Vision: Clear Far and Near

Normal Vision, Clear Near and Far

Astigmatism: Blur, Ghosting, Doubling or “Drop-Shadow”

Blurry Vision Caused By Astigmatism


Astigmatism Treatment

Regular astigmatism may be corrected through:

  • Prescription eyeglasses
  • Prescription contact lenses
  • Lens replacement surgery using an astigmatism-correcting lens implant (IOL)
  • Placement of arcuate incisions in the peripheral cornea, typically done at the time of cataract and IOL surgery ( also called limbal relaxing incisions)

Lenses called ‘toric lenses’ are prescribed to correct astigmatism. LASIK, when properly rendered with modern lasers, can beautifully correct regular astigmatism.

Cataract and Clear Lens Replacement patients who have astigmatism can be treated with a toric Intra-Ocular lens (IOL) implant during cataract surgery to correct pre-existing astigmatism.

Irregular astigmatism, affecting 1% of people, is a more serious condition. This is more challenging to treat and is discussed in detail on our High Astigmatism page.

Our surgeons have performed literally thousands of surgical treatments for astigmatism and will review your case carefully to recommend and treat you with the very best solution for your visual goals.

Contact Us online to request a free astigmatism-correction consultation.